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Why everyone should know sign language

Hand sign language alphabet

People always encourage learning foreign languages, whether for traveling, cultural appreciation or just to get a class credit. But why not learn a foreign language that is a little closer to home, like American Sign Language?

Millions of people in the United States alone are deaf or hearing disabled. The World Health Organization predicts that one in 10 people will have a hearing disability within 30 years. This is why it is so important that we, as hearing people, should make an effort to learn at least a little bit of sign language.

If you haven’t been convinced yet, take these points into account:

1. According to Total Jobs, 1 out of every 4 deaf people have quit their job because of discrimination. Employers are often unwilling to hire deaf people because they would need to hire an interpreter, but it would be much easier and cheaper if people in the room already knew ASL.

2. Ninety percent of deaf children have hearing parents. Because adults are already fully developed, the children learn faster, making it harder for parents to communicate with their children.

3. We live in a world built for hearing people, often separating ourselves from the deaf community. If a person can sign, it can help to build a bridge between the two communities.

So how can you learn sign language? For one, you can take the elective as a foreign language credit, or you can join the ASL club at Freedom High School. And if you don’t want to learn at school, there are countless websites where you can learn basic signs on your own time. Let’s break down some barriers!

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